Regional Working Group on Environment (RWGE)

The Regional Working Group on Environment was established by the Barents Regional Council in 1993. After a reconstruction of the working groups under the Regional Council, the RWGE was re-established during the spring of 2001 as one of five regional working groups. The 13 member regions in the Barents Region have representatives in the RWGE. The chairmanship from region to region is changing once in two years. For the period 2012-2014 the chairmanship is carried out by Lapland (Finland).

The mandate of the RWGE is to work as a consultative body on environmental issues to the Working Group of Environment (WGE). There is close co-operation between the RWGE and the WGE. The WGE may also submit suggestions and give mandates to the RWGE on implementation of special projects. The RWGE and WGE may initiate environmental projects within the Barents Region. Once in two years the Chair of the RWGE is reporting to the Ministers of the Environment of Russia, Norway, Sweden and Finland on the Ministerial Conference about the results of the RWGE’s activity during last two years. An analysis of the present environmental situation in the Barents Region has been introduced at the Ministerial meeting in Umeå 9 November 2011.

The RWGE from time to time updates the Action Program and identifies a few project ideas that will be given priority in the work of the RWGE. A revision of the present Action Program has been undertaken and main focus for further work will be on two major area; water quality and biodiversity in the Barents Region. The overall goal is to strengthen and coordinate multilateral co-operation in the Barents region. This will be done by project implementation and information change on several environment related topics. There are several environmental projects going on by the organisations, which are taking part in the Barents environment co-operation. Projects on forestry impacts on surface waters, Atlantic salmon resources and climate change can be mentioned.

Efforts to improve the environmental situation in the area around the Pechenganikel industrial complex are also addressed in the framework of the RWGE. The Pechenganikel industrial complex is a main threat to aquatic and terrestrial environments in the Finnish, Norwegian, and Russian border areas. Regional authorities in the counties of Finnmark, Lapland, and Murmansk have in collaboration with research institutes in the Barents Region completed a «Pasvik program». The objective of the «Pasvik program » was to develop and implement an environmental monitoring and assessment program in the border areas. Nineteen institutions in the Barents Region have participated in the program. The long term objective of the project is to ensure that the monitoring data covering the state of the environment are reliable, comparable, and available to authorities, environmental experts and local people in the border areas.

RWGE Annual Report 2013

For more information see:


RWGE documents


Mr. Jari Pasanen, Chair,
Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Lapland,
P.O. Box 8060, 96100 Rovaniemi, Finland
mobile: +358 40 518 7484
Fax : +358 16 345 991

Ms. Bente Christiansen
County Governor in Finnmark,
Statens hus, 9815 Vadsø, Norway
Phone: +47 78 95 03 73
Fax: +47 78 95 03 70

Ms. Eija Salmi
Regional Council of Oulu, Kauppurienkatu 8 A,
90100 Oulu, Finland
Phone: +358 8 3214 022,
mobile +358 50 3217899
Fax: +358 8 3214 055

Mr. Heikki Aronpää
Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for North Ostrobothnia,
P.O. Box 124, 90101 Oulu, Finland
mobile +358 40 555 2866
Fax : +358 20 490 6305

Mr. Tero Väisänen
Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for North Ostrobothnia,
P.O. Box 124, 90101 Oulu, Finland
Phone: +358 8 3158521
Fax : +358 8 3158530

Ms. Raija Urpelainen
Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Kainuu,
P.O. Box 115, 87101 Kajaani, Finland
Phone: +358 8 61631
Fax : +358 8 6163629

Mr. Jonas L. Lundin
County Administrative Board of Norrbotten
Environmental Protection Unit
SE-971 86 Luleå, Sweden
Tel.: +46 10 22 55 363
Fax: +46 920 22 84 11

Mr. Mats-Rune Bergström
County Administration of Västerbotten,
901 86 Umeå, Sweden
Phone: + 46 90 10 73 52,
Mobil: +46 70 621 73 52
Fax : +46 90 10 72 00

Mr. Asbjørg Fyhn
Troms fylkeskommune, P.O.Box 6600,
9296 Tromsø, Norway
Phone: +47 77 78 81 65
Fax: +47 77 78 80 01

Mr. Roar Høgsæt
County Governor in Nordland,
Moloveien 10, 8002 Bodø, Norway
Phone: +47 75 53 15 62
Fax: +47 75 53 16 80

Mr. Schweitzer Fedor
Acting Minister of Natural Resourses and Environment
of the Murmansk Region,
Kolsky Ave. 1, 183032 Murmansk,
Phone: +7 (8152) 486 852
Fax: +7 (8152) 486 850

Mr. Kirill Sinitsky
Head, Agency of Natural Resources and
Environment in the Arkhangelsk Region,
49 Trotsky Pr., 163004 Arkhangelsk, Russia
Tlf: +7 8182 21 55 19
Fax: +7 8182 28 57 48

Ms. Tatiana Tiupenko
Chief, Department of International Programs Implementation,
Ministry of Natural Resurces and Environmental Protection
of the Republic of Komi, 157 Internationalnaya st.,
167000 Syktyvkar, Russia
Phone: +7 8212 216 098
Mobile: +8 912 86 97 497
Fax : +7 8212 44 13 90

Calendar of Events